Last Monday, I didn’t think I’d be sitting here still dumbfounded by the election of “Celebrity Apprentice” star and billionaire “populist,” Donald Trump to the White House. I wasn’t completely secure in thinking that Hillary Clinton would win, but pretty confident. Like 80 to 90 percent. So I am sitting here, wondering where this country can go next and it is terrifying. The actuality of a Trump presidency has become more and more looming as we hear about what Trump is planning on doing. What we don’t hear is certainly the most important. In an era when the mainstream media was what fed us this presidential monster, we must remain vigilant in not letting this cartoonish villain destroy the country.
The protests breaking out across the country are a great development which must continue. From NYC to Portland, Oregon, there have been solidarity marches bringing together tens of thousands of progressives and anti-Trump conservatives to the streets over the election of a fascistic bully as the president of the most powerful nation on earth. On Tuesday, there will be one here at UNH where students will be gathering for a march at 2:45 p.m. As with the other protests, it is about protesting Trump and the radical Republicans who will be reversing the little progress we saw under Obama. It is not aimed at democracy or his voters. These are peaceful protests and yes, there has been violence, which of course must be addressed and taken care of. Stores were destroyed in Portland, and the next day progressive groups got together to raise money for fixing what was broken. If this movement is to be successful, it must be peaceful.
Aside from mass protesting Trump, there should be a continuation of supporting the progressive movement and its many actions across the country. Right now, protestors at Standing Rock are trying to defend their water and sacred lands. President Obama, instead of listening to the people who have been ignored, brutalized and maligned for centuries, is listening to corporations whose obscene profits do nothing more than dirty our most basic life sources: the air and water. Obama, while strong on several climate policies, has failed to stand beside activists. Bernie Sanders, a man who I believe would’ve won the presidency had he been in the general, would be out at Standing Rock right now as president elect. This battle will only get more difficult under President Trump.
The programs that were first established by the Bush Administration and expanded under the Obama Administration will only be fully taken advantage of by President Trump. I dare you to look up sections 1020 and 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act. It legalizes the ability of the U.S. military to arrest suspected terrorists and hold them without trial. American citizens. I am not being paranoid. This is all a Google search away. The powers that liberal elites let slide by because Obama was president, will now be exercised by a wholly unqualified and deranged man.
The largest military, with enough nuclear weapons to destroy this world many times over, with the help of an international drone and surveillance program, is now being given to a cabinet full of right wing extremists. The courts, the Congress and the White House is all theirs. The only thing stopping the Trump Train is progressives and Americans who are committed to equality, democracy and freedom. If enough people can stand up, this administration will not undo all the progress we’ve made and what progress we’re going to make. Our generation is the future. We must march in solidarity across the country. Starting on Tuesday, I encourage everyone to stand up with a loud and peaceful voice and call for a better future.